Saturday, January 10, 2009

What a difference....some hay makes

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We braved the icy roads today to make chickens happy. I've been trying to keep the hens from eating each other the last couple of days while they've been cooped up. They've gone through heads of cabbage and broccoli like they're potato chips, even though I hang them high enough above their heads that they have to jump to get a bite. I'm thankful that cabbage is cheap right now.

This morning David stretched a tarp over part of the run so they could get outside without becoming covered in a layer of ice. That in itself was a tremendous help. Did I mention that we were woefully unprepared for this nasty weather? The addition of a few flakes of hay was just like throwing them candy at a Halloween parade. They are loving it soooo much. Lesson learned....prepare for nasty weather in advance.

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Now, instead of loud squawking and complaining from 15 hens when I walk out to the barn, I am met with quietness, broken only by contented chicken mutterings.


Amy said...

Good, I'm glad your chooks are happily occupied with the hay. It really does help give them something to do.

I think we're up to a foot of snow by now. It's very pretty to look at and I have to admit I like a good heavy snowstorm at least once a winter.

Susan said...

Wow, you guys are really getting hammered! All we got was rain, freezng rain and more rain. Make a snowman for me!

Ruth said...

Good that Amy and you explained a bit, I was going to ask what the hay does for them, and Don wasn't here to ask.

The cover over the run is a great idea. I went out yesterday for a photo walk, it was so beautiful, and when I went into the barn the chickens seemed so restless, even though the had the run of the barn. They wanted to follow me, but they did not realize how much snow was outside.

Susan said...

Ruth, the hens seem to enjoy scratching the hay apart and picking off the leaves to eat. It also helps make the coop smell a little better.

With the snow coming down today, I'll probably have to go out and knock it off the tarp so it doesn't collapse. Oh well, it's a good excuse to go outside. Maybe I'll take the camera with me.

Don said...

My chickens definitely have coop fever. I give them cabbage, and other tasty delights, but they seem to act like "of course you are bringing us this stuff!" "Bring more, now!"

Susan said...

Don, Spring can't come too soon for me and the chickens! I hung the head of cabbage high enough that they have to jump pretty high to reach. I'll bet my speckled sussex hens jumped hundreds of times yesterday.

I know what you mean about the "attitude". We're their little minions, here to be at their beck and call!

Wrensong Farm said...

Susan, that was a great idea to hang the veggies to make them work for it. I'll remember that next time my chickens are coop-bound.

I really need to clean my coop out (just was done two months ago) after that couple of weeks all the poultry was living in there. P! U!

C'mon Spring!!!!

Susan said...

Tammy, you haven't exactly had cooperative weather of late for coop cleaning! Or the lame knee! I hope it's feeling better.

My grandkids watch Franklin on TV and there's a song called Springtime. Spring-time, Spring, where are you? I keep singing it in my head! I can't wait!

Cindy said...

I enjoyed seeing your happy hens! I've always put straw in my hen's nest boxes, and am only now realizing there's a big difference between straw and hay. I'm ready to try whatever will work to make mine start laying again. I've spoiled them rotten, but they just don't seem very appreciative... still no eggs! I'm thinking I'll just have to wait til spring. I'm so ready for everything that comes with spring to arrive. The dark, cloudy days around here are very depressing.

Susan said...

Cindy, the hay certainly has made them more content to be penned up. They're used to roaming the backyard at will. Maybe this will get them used to staying in. Hubby says he is going to double the run space so we can keep them contained most of the time. He doesn't like the poop so much. Of course, he doesn't know what goes on when he's at work! :)

I've decided this year that I officially hate Winter! I can't wait until Spring comes either. We don't get much (any) sunshine here either. I need the sunshine.

Char said...

thanks for visiting my blog. I don't know much about the raising of chickens as I'm a very city girl, but I do remember as a child visiting my grandmother and holding little baby chicks. I loved doing that.

Judy said...

Hey Sis You do know it doesn't snow in Florida.... LOL come on down and enjoy the sunshine. Well I must admit it has been kinda overcast here too, But not as cold. Your Chickies are pretty.

Susan said...

Hey, Sis! So you took the plunge? I'd love to be soaking up some of that Florida sunshine about now. David and I are both saying how much we hate winter.

Love ya!